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New Zealand to hold cannabis referendum within three years


New Zealand will hold a referendum on legalising the recreational use of cannabis in the next three years, its prime minister-elect has pledged. Jacinda Ardern said she did not personally support imprisoning people for using cannabis but wanted to hear New Zealanders' views.

Ms Ardern received a standing ovation at a meeting of her Labour Party. She will head a three-way coalition with the Greens and nationalist party New Zealand First (NZF). Ms Ardern, 37, emerged as the surprise new leader after weeks of negotiation following September's inconclusive election, which resulted in a hung parliament.

The incumbent National Party won 56 seats - two more than the Labour-Green bloc - but was unable to agree on a governing coalition.

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